#004 Julie Chabin

Discover the products that Julie Chabin uses to design projects and stay in the zone


Welcome to Maker Stacks, a new newsletter from the Product Hunt team where we interview a maker about their stack.

In today’s edition, we have former Head of Design at Product Hunt, now independent designer Julie Chabin, who, along with the team, helped over 300k startups launch on Product Hunt.

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Julie Chabin

👋 I’m Julie Chabin, also known as @syswarren on Twitter. Until recently, I was the head of product design here at Product Hunt, where, along with the team, I helped +300k products launch.

Now, I’m back to being a full-time independent designer assisting founders in building great products. When I’m not working with others, you’ll find me working on one of my too many side projects. 

Julie’s Stack

  1. Figma (For designing projects)

  2. Framer (For building web projects)

  3. Jitter.video (To present animations and projects)

  4. Bose QC 35 (Listening to music and getting in the zone)

  5. Autonomous.ai desk (For adjusting my position while working)

  6. Loom (To present work asynchronously to clients and teams)

  7. Contra (To find new work and connect with others) 

  8. Twitter / X (to find work and peers and scream into the void when needed)

What's the most underrated tool in your stack? 

My headset. I could design an entire product in my head without any apps or tools, but for this, I need to be in the right mindset. The QC35 really helps me get in my bubble and focus on the task. 

Figma is almost like a design tool app store. Do you have any must-use plugins that you would recommend?

Oh yes, first there is html.to.design. It was really useful for many projects where a version of a feature already exists, and I needed to iterate from it. Saves a lot of time.

 I also like Content Reel; I've created custom data sets for different projects, which saves time.

Stark to check on contrast and accessibility, too. Those 3 are the plugins I use for most projects. I use more, but they mainly depend on my current work. 

Framer vs Webflow seems to be the big battle of no-code site builders these days. What aspects of Framer sets it apart for you?

I really enjoy Webflow, and I've created lots of things with it, but Framer is a real design tool from a user experience point of view. You design first with it. As a designer, using that kind of tool is more natural. 

How does your overall design workflow work? Do you start in Figma before moving over to Framer? 

It's funny because I don't design on Figma first if I use Framer. I use Framer as a design tool that magically turns into a website. I'll use Figma primarily for complex projects that include brand design and software design, where I can do more explorations and collect feedback. 

Usually, my design workflow starts in my head, staring into the void until I have an idea of what I want to be doing. I can envision the product up to a certain point before I touch a design tool. 

Lastly, to answer the age-old question, should a designer code?

Yes, to a certain degree, designers should code. 

They should at least understand how things are built and be able to edit them; beautiful designs that are impossible to implement are useless. 

I love writing small animations, like the one with the upvote button on PH. I usually write something on codepen.io and share it with engineers, and it helps everyone move faster. 

Now, I don't expect designers to implement a complex product fully; we are already busy enough as it is.